Epic Games vs Apple Trial gears up for closing arguments – fr

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Epic Games vs Apple Trial gears up for closing arguments – fr



The legal battle of Epic Games Inc. against Apple Inc.

The outcome of the lawsuit will reverberate well outside the Oakland, Calif. Courtroom, as Apple faces close scrutiny from lawmakers, regulators and software developers who say the company exercises too much control and restricts competition within its App Store. Apple rebuffed these claims, highlighting the competition it faces from other app stores and devices and the company’s desire to provide a seamless experience for users.

The judge is expected to rule in the coming months.
During the three-week trial, Epic argued that Apple was wrongly blocking third-party app stores on its mobile devices and forcing developers to use its in-built payment system for all digital transactions, causing it to allowed to collect a commission of up to 30%. .

In response, Apple said that there are many ways for users to access Epic’s “Fortnite” video game, and its commission is in line with what other platforms take. Apple has argued that Epic is just trying to profit from Apple’s investment and store without paying its fair share.

Monday’s latest arguments come after Apple took its top executives, including chief executive Tim Cook, to the stand last week to claim the company is not a monopoly and that it bans third-party app stores to protect users.

Here’s what we learned last week. Click to see the recaps of the first and second week of the trial.

How did Apple CEO Tim Cook answer questions about the competitiveness of his App Store?

Mr Cook faced pointed questions from U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who suggested that Apple’s integrated payment system was not facing enough competition and noted that game developers were reporting a considerable amount of revenue the company collects from the App Store.

“I understand this idea that Apple somehow brings the customer to gamers, to users, but after that first time, after that first interaction … developers keep their customers, Apple takes advantage of that,” he says. it.

Cook disagreed, arguing that while many of the store’s apps are free to users, their existence helps drive traffic to the store that benefits game developers.

“If we allowed people to connect like this, we would essentially forgo our return on intellectual property,” Cook said.

She further asked what problem Apple was having in allowing users to have choices, especially the ability to have cheaper options in games.

“I think they have a choice today,” he replied. “There are many different Android models of a smartphone or iPhone to choose from, and this iPhone is built on a certain set of safety, security and privacy principles.”

How was iPhone security an issue during the test?

Epic has argued that Apple’s claim that it needs to tightly control its App Store for security reasons is overstated and an attempt to justify keeping third-party app stores off the iPhone. To help substantiate the case, Epic relied on testimony that the operating system is the key to the phone’s security and suggested that a system similar to Apple’s laptops and desktops would be. also secure.

Apple’s senior software manager Craig Federighi tried to counter this while at the booth on Wednesday, explaining why the security of the company’s Mac computers, which support third-party application distribution, is not enough. rugged for the iPhone.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney was back for the debates on Friday.

Photo:
Noah Berger / Associated Press

“Today we have a level of malware on Macs that we don’t find acceptable, and it’s much worse than iOS,” he said. “Put the same situation in place for iOS, and that would be a very, very bad situation for our customers.”

He said Google’s Android operating system was plagued with even more problems. A Google spokesperson pointed to the company’s latest quarterly transparency report, which shows that less than 0.2% of consumer and business Android devices have installed a malicious app from Google Play. The judge noted that one of Epic’s expert witnesses said there was no real difference between attacks on Android and iPhones. “So what quantitative analysis do you have that would suggest otherwise? Asked the judge.

Mr Federighi noted a report from Nokia that infections on Android devices were “something like 30 times that of iOS” and said other reports had shown something even more biased.

When Epic’s lawyer Yonatan Even had the opportunity to question Mr. Federighi, he tried to trim his statements. Mr Even questioned his claims about security and Mr Federighi said he was not involved in the Nokia study.

The two argued repeatedly over related matters until the judge finally cut them off. “Stop arguing with him,” she said. ” Let’s move on. “

How did Apple handle questions about the profitability of the App Store?

Phil Schiller, who spent roughly 20 years as one of Apple’s top executives, spoke about everything Apple does to help developers successfully create and develop applications in its market. He said Apple has spent around $ 100 billion on research and development since 2005, including around $ 18 billion in 2020.

But Mr Schiller said he was unsure whether the App Store was profitable on its own because Apple doesn’t treat it as a stand-alone unit, although he acknowledged that it probably was. Epic’s board estimated that the App Store made at least $ 20 billion in commissions in 2017 based on data released by Apple. Mr. Schiller did not dispute this figure.

Mr Cook also echoed testimony from other executives that the company does not disclose individual profitability metrics for the store. He generally avoided most of the talk about his profitability.

Asked about Apple’s deal making Google the default search engine on iPhones, for which the company receives billions of dollars a year, Cook said he didn’t know the exact figure.

How did the essay approach Apple’s app review process?

Another part of Epic’s attack on App Store security revolved around the hundreds of workers Apple screened before making them available. In an effort to illustrate that Apple’s processes are porous, Katherine Forrest, an attorney for Epic, told Schiller that she researched the App Store.

“And now I’m concerned about the algorithm that will be associated with my name forever,” she said, starting to go through a binder of pages of her research containing terms such as “BDSM”, escorts and sex. pornography, and subsequent results. applications ranging from “Sex Position 3D” to one that claimed to be “pure anonymous connection”.

The interrogation came near a lunch break. Upon his return, Apple lawyer Richard Doren had the opportunity to question Mr. Schiller. “Sir, over lunch I became the proud owner of ‘Sex Positions 3D,’ said Mr. Doren. “Do you know if, in fact, the characters in the app are fully dressed? “

Mr. Schiller, now an Apple comrade, said he didn’t know. “I guess by our store rules they are. “

The app, offered by Weewoo Mobile SL, boasted that it could help users “become the best hot lover,” even though it came with mixed reviews.

Last month, it recorded 100,000 downloads and made $ 30,000, according to Sensor Tower. The app developer did not respond to requests for comment.

What did the essay reveal about how Epic named “Fortnite”?

With the trial now past a fortnight, Judge Gonzalez Rogers took a moment to ask Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney what the name “Fortnite” means.

Mr Sweeney said that in the original version of the game players have to create forts during the day to hide from the zombies that come out at night.

“So tied to strong, as opposed to fifteen days, two weeks?” Judge Gonzalez Rogers said. Mr. Sweeney replied that she was right.

“I had to ask,” she says. “I thought I had you here, that I wouldn’t have another real opportunity to ask, so why not.”

Write to Tim Higgins at [email protected] and Sarah E. Needleman at [email protected]

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